Manchester City are ready and willing to fork out a world-record smashing £100m to sign Lionel Messi this summer.
That’s according to the Sun, who claim talks have already taken place between the two clubs.
Messi has been regularly linked with a move away from the Catalan giants in recent years, particularly since the striker was subject to tax investigations in Spain.
And the Argentine superstar’s contract in Barca ends in 18 months time, with no new deal forthcoming.
So remarkably, Messi could be available on a free next summer – a situation which we previously only ever envisaged happening in the fictional world of the Football Manager games.
Still only 29, the four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner has plenty of years left, and would spearhead City’s charge to become Champions League winners.
Barca have been trailing Real Madrid in this season’s La Liga title race, and added to continued reports of tension between boss Luis Enrique and his star men, all is not well at the Camp Nou.
All that, plus the temptation to reunite with former boss Pep Guardiola, means this move is certainly within the realms of possibility.
Messi enjoyed arguably his finest season under Pep, with a staggering 50 league goals in 2011-2012, totalling 73 in all competitions.
It seems unlikely he or anyone else will replicate those figures ever again, but it would be fascinating to see how the man regarded as one of the greatest ever players would fare in the Premier League.
Could he do it on a wet Tuesday night in Stoke? We might just find out next season.
After a 4-0 drubbing at Everton, Guardiola’s belagured charges host in-form Tottenham this weekend.
The Citizens are 11/10 favourites, but with Spurs on a six-game winning streak, they might wish they already had Messi to call upon.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing